Aontú have confirmed their selection of a Keady primary school teacher as their candidate for Newry-Armagh in the next Assembly Elections.
In a statement, the party stated that Daniel Connolly “is determined to stand up for the issues that matter to our communities, from childcare, to education, to cost of living, to the human right to life.”
As a teacher, Aontú claim Daniel has seen first-hand the value of diversity in education and the absolute need to protect local rural schools.
With a wife who serves as a nurse in health service, party state Daniel is committed to protecting our healthcare system from budget cuts, particularly Daisy Hill Hospital and to restore its emergency surgery capacity.
Aontu party leader Peadar Toibin said: “44,000 people are on housing waiting lists. 250,000 people are on hospital waiting lists for longer than a year. ¼ of a million people are in poverty. There is a cost of living crisis.
“Investment west of the Bann is half of what it should be. SF/SDLP MLAs have voted for abortion right up until the birth of the child. Despite all of these shocking challenges Stormont is broken again”.
The TD continued: “That the DUP has torn down Stormont in the middle of these very real human crisis is wrong and it must not be allowed to happen again. Aontú is the only political party calling for the reform of the democratic institutions to prevent any one party tearing them down again or any one party preventing an Executive being formed in the future.
“These life and death issues are too important for Stormont to be crashed over and over again. We are also calling for the suspension of MLA salaries for the political parties who crash the democratic institutions or prevent Executives being formed”.
Talking about the candidate, he stated :“Daniel is a lifelong human rights activist and committed family man, who is tired of the Stormont Executive failing our communities. Families across the country are facing crises in healthcare, in education, in cost of living, of which Daniel has an intimate knowledge and experience of.
“Daniel will lead the fight to afford political representation to the communities of Newry-Armagh. While SF/SDLP MLAs have voted for abortion right up until the birth of the child Daniel will stand up for the Human Right to Life”.
“Daniel Connolly fully supports Integrated Education but opposes plans by SF/SDLP to reduce funding to local Catholic and Controlled Schools. All schools and pupils should be equally treated by the state. We have fought long enough for parity of esteem to reverse it now. Aontú offers an real alternative. Aontú offers a vote for change”.
The party leader added: “Aontú is only two years old, yet we have achieved over 50,000 votes, has elected reps from Derry to Wexford, has over 1,000 members and 60 functioning Cumann. Aontú is polling higher that PbP and similar levels to the Labour and the Greens. We are an All-Ireland political movement that is now preparing for the Stormont elections. I have every confidence that Daniel Connolly will fight for Newry Armagh in Stormont.”